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Do it again with Brian Wilson

Stephanie DePrez | Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Most of us inherit our musical tastes early on in life, growing up listening to our parent’s favorites. We drive around in the car with our mom’s radio station on and we watch dad fix things while listening to his CDs.At some point in your life, you probably heard the harmonic, sunny tunes of the Beach Boys. Beginning in the 1960s, these southern Californians came out with a series of surfer-friendly songs that are hard to resist. Their impact continues to be felt, often through the movies that still feature their songs, such as “50 First Dates” (“Wouldn’t It Be Nice”), “Love Actually” (“God Only Knows”) and “Happy Feet” (“Do It Again”). Their presence in pop culture is undeniable and they’ve managed to gain a fan-base in every generation. The man behind most of the magic is Brian Wilson, who formed the Beach Boys with his two brothers, Carl and Dennis, his Cousin Mike Love and their friend Al Jardine. After a series of hits Wilson fell on some bad times as he dealt with drug use for years. He continued to write as he fell deeper into seclusion, but his bouts with drugs weren’t really over till the late 1980’s.Now he takes the stage with a completely new album, “That Lucky Old Sun,” an ode to LA that Wilson is fit to deliver. He will perform live in South Bend at the Morris Performing Arts Center on Nov. 13, about which Scene talked with him. After noting the lasting impact of the trademark Beach Boy harmonies, Wilson explained that he wanted to paint a picture of LA using carefully chosen images. He also answered questions about his feelings on the Beach Boy’s long history. Part of the interview can be read below.Interview with Brian Wilson Scene: This is a very revealing album and it seems to reflect on much of your life. What kind of experience is it for you when you perform it live? Wilson: Well, it’s quite a thrill, actually.

Scene: How does the audience usually respond?Wilson: Very well. They like it a lot.

Scene: Is it fun for you when you perform it?Wilson: Yes, I love to perform it.

Scene: What do you think a 20 year old coming to your show would get out of it?Wilson: He would get a bang out of it because he would love the lyrics!

Scene: Where do you want to go from here? How do you see your music evolving? Wilson: I see the music turning into some good soft rock and some rock and roll.

Scene: Throughout your career you have seen and often times initiated the growth and development of rock music. What is your take on rock music today? Wilson: I don’t listen to the rock music of today. I listen to oldies but goodies on records.

Scene: What’s your favorite song to perform?Wilson: “California Girls” is my favorite.

Scene: What is the greatest song you ever wrote?Wilson: “God Only Knows”

Scene: If you were stranded on a desert island and got to bring the entire work of one musical artist, whose music would you want to have?Wilson: The Beatles

Scene: What has had the strongest impacts on your music?Wilson: I think maybe the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones, and Phil Spector.

Scene: What inspired you to take this album and do a solo tour?Wilson: My wife.

And so, with his wife’s blessing he takes the stage at the Morris Performing Arts Center Nov. 13 to perform “That Lucky Old Sun,” along with classic fan favorites. Tickets are $27-$62. Call 574-235-9190 for more information.